The Xbox Live Arcade House Party was an annual release party held by Microsoft for their Xbox 360 console. Beginning in 2011, Microsoft's party was a way to allow developers to release new games to larger audiences, while also celebrating a new year of Xbox Live. The House Party in 2012 ran from February 15, 2012 until March 3, 2012, releasing a new Arcade game every Wednesday for four consecutive weeks. If an Xbox Live user purchased all four games during their respective weeks of release would also recieve a fraction of the cost in Microsoft Points returned to them for free, allowing them to spend more money in the Xbox Live Arcade.
Developed by TrapDoor and published by EA, Warp had the honor of being the first game in the 2012 lineup. A unique stealth-action-puzzle game, Warp follows the adventures of Zero, a lovable-yet-lethal orange robot who is capture by the evil Commander, who has imprisoned our alien friend in his personal underwater base. Wielding a creative arsenal of powers, which he can learn from the remains of other aliens captured by the Commander- Warp, Zero's original power which allows him to teleport across short distances, while he can learn attacks and abilities like Frag, Echo, Swap and Launch in order to solve an arsenal of puzzles and escape the Commander's lair. The game was praised for it's witty and brainy story and gameplay which netted it high reviews from a number of major sources. Warp was originally released for 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00) on February 15, 2012.
The second game in the House Party, Alan Wake's American Nightmare is the sequel to the original retail game and Xbox Exclusive, Alan Wake. Returning developer Remedy continues the story of Alan Wake after the conclusion of his self titled debut- after being gone for two years, Wake returns to the real world to stop the avatar of The Darkness and Wake's evil doppleganger, Mr. Scratch, from corrupting everything in darkness. Wake will harness his light-based weaponry and the powers of the Lake to change reality as he tries to return his life from the Darkness. American Nightmare is created with the concept of being a stand-alone title, and while not essential to the continuing franchise (as this is confirmed NOT to be the last Alan Wake on Remedy's to-do list.) it does broaden the expanded universe of the franchise. Alan Wake's American Nightmare was made available for download on February 22, 2012 for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00).
The third game released for download in the House Party was the arena-based first-person shooter developed by Illfonic and published by THQ, Nexuiz was released in the House Party only as an initial bonus, as it was later made available on the PSN and Steam. Nexuiz is inspired by the free-to-play PC game of the same name (now re-branded Nexuiz Classic), and uses the Cry Engine 3 to provide players with a frantic, high-speed competitve multiplayer experience. Nexuiz captures attention with it's eye-grabbing futuristic Victorian appearance and settings, which shift about as the players manipulate the laws of physics to take advantage on their unwary foes, while also being the only multiplayer-focused game in the entire House Party Line-Up. Nexuiz had the smallest launch of all in the House Party when it was released on February 29, 2012 for only 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00).
Without a doubt, the most anticipated game of the House Party line up, I Am Alive is the long awaited release from Ubisoft. The game has a troubled development schedule that put it's release in doubt at all, from shifting primary developers, to getting shifted from a retail game to a downloadable game over the course of many delays, I Am Alive follows the post-apocalyptic adventures of Adam as he makes his way across the fictional American city of Haventon, one year after the Event, a worldwide cataclysm that wiped out most of human civilization and left the world barely habitable, covered by a toxic cloud of dust and ash. I Am Alive focuses on facing the permanent insecurity of a now decaying and hazardous world, and humanity's darkest inclinations. I Am Alive was released for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00) on March 6, 2012- closing out the House Party with a bang.